Abbas’ UN Speech and the Unrest in Jerusalem


Institute for Contemporary Affairs
Founded jointly with the Wechsler Family Foundation

Vol. 15,  No. 31        October 7, 2015

Mahmoud Abbas at the United Nations

Mahmoud Abbas at the United Nations

  • Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is attempting to make political gains by outflanking his opponents and problems on the domestic front, while threatening a descent into political chaos – that is, an intifada-type confrontation.
  • On September 30, 2015, Abbas gave a speech to the United Nations General Assembly1 in which he outlined the unilateral steps he intends to take to achieve Palestinian sovereignty in the territories and east Jerusalem without reaching a peace agreement with Israel.
  • Abbas denied the Jewish people’s historical and religious bond with the Land of Israel and Jews’ right to worship on the Temple Mount.
  • Abbas revealed his consistent support for terror. Thousands of Palestinian prisoners are serving time in Israel after being convicted of murdering Jews, attempted murder or abetting the murder of Jews. Abbas demanded that Israel free all the Palestinian terrorists.
  • The Palestinian Authority glorifies the deeds of the Palestinian terrorist “prisoners,” portrays them as “national heroes,” and grants them financial and social assistance for life.

 

On September 30, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas gave a speech to the United Nations General Assembly in which he outlined the unilateral steps he intends to take to achieve Palestinian sovereignty in the territories and east Jerusalem without reaching a peace agreement with Israel.

Abbas’s speech revealed his basic stance, which includes unequivocal support for terror, a racist attitude toward the Jewish people, an entrenched hatred for Israel, and a will to destroy it. The following are the main points of the speech.

Denying the Jewish people’s historical and religious bond with the Land of Israel and Jews’ right to worship on the Temple Mount

“Palestine is the land of holiness and peace, the birthplace of Jesus the emissary of love and the place of Muhammad’s ascent to heaven,” Abbas said. He pointedly refrained, as in his previous addresses, from mentioning that the land is also holy to the Jewish people whose history has been entwined with it for millennia.

Abbas also averred that Israel seeks —

“…to create a new reality [including allowing Jews to worship on the Temple Mount]…. The Israeli government is acting to implement this program in violation of the situation before and since 1967, and it is therefore committing a major error because we will not agree to this, and our Palestinian people will not accept the implementation of this plan, which inflames the feelings of the Palestinians and the Muslims everywhere…. It will transform the conflict from a political conflict to a religious one and wreak havoc in Jerusalem and the rest of the occupied Palestinian land.”

Thus, Abbas declared that the Palestinians will not tolerate Jewish religious activity on the Temple Mount.

Israel is accused of a blood libel

Abbas accused Israel of terror, abetting terror, and failing to enforce anti-terror laws. As he put it —

“The extremists…burned an entire Palestinian family in Kfar Duma on the West Bank…. And that was not the first crime; previously they burned and then murdered the Palestinian boy Muhammad Abu Khdeir in Jerusalem, and the boy Muhammad al-Dura in Gaza [September 2000], and thousands before them were killed in Gaza and the West Bank, and we still remember the Deir Yassin massacre [April 1948], and those are crimes that went unpunished. How long will Israel remain above international law and unaccountable? How long?”

Abbas said further on this topic —

“We will not respond in kind to the Israeli hatred and the cruelty of the occupation; we are acting to spread the culture of peace and coexistence between our people and the region…. This cannot abide the continuation of occupation and settlement, the racist separation fence, the burning of human beings and houses of prayer and homes, and the killing of young people, children, and infants, the burning of agricultural produce and arrests without indictment or trial.”

Abbas is brazenly lying here. Although there have been terror attacks by Jews, they receive no official support in Israel. On the contrary, the law-enforcement agencies investigate, prosecute, and punish Jews convicted of such offenses against Palestinians. For example, the murderers of the youth Muhammad Abu Khdeir have been arrested and charged, and suspects in the murder of the Palestinian family at Duma have been placed under administrative detention for lack of evidence that can be used in court.

Support for Palestinian terror

Abbas asked: “Has the time not come for thousands of Palestinian prisoners in Israel to see the light of freedom and live with their families?” Here he revealed his consistent support for terror. Thousands of Palestinian prisoners are serving time in Israel after being convicted of murdering Jews, abetting their murder, or attempting to murder them. Some dispatched suicide bombers; others were would-be suicide bombers who were apprehended in time. The Palestinians imprisoned in Israel on terror charges come from all the Palestinian organizations, as well as branches of Al-Qaeda and ISIS. Abbas demands that Israel free all the Palestinian terrorists, whom he regards as deserving of freedom.

In marked contrast to Israel and Jewish terrorists, the Palestinian Authority glorifies the deeds of the Palestinian terrorist “prisoners,” portrays them as “national heroes,” and grants them financial and social assistance for life2 while educating the young to emulate them.

Hamas master bomb-maker, Abdullah al-Barghouti, serving 67 life sentences, received approximately 250,000 Israeli shekels from the Palestinian Authority.

Hamas master bomb-maker, Abdullah al-Barghouti, serving 67 life sentences, received approximately 250,000 Israeli shekels from the Palestinian Authority.

Abbas stated further that “Israeli governments have passed so many repressive laws that are official governmental edicts, and the latest among them are orders to fire live bullets and to arrest and abuse peaceful Palestinian demonstrators. Where will it lead, and why?”

Here, too, Abbas reveals his attitude toward terror. “Peaceful” is how he portrays the life-endangering hurling of rocks at passing Israeli vehicles, throwing firebombs at Jews’ houses, stabbing civilian Jews, or running them over with vehicles. Israel has not issued any orders to “abuse” Palestinian demonstrators; instead it has ordered its security forces to act in accordance with the threats they confront, particularly when life-threatening threats are involved.

The phased plan for Israel’s destruction

Abbas said:

“My people put their hopes in the countries of this organization [the United Nations] that they will win their freedom, independence, and sovereignty, so that they can realize their goal and their right to a state of their own just like the other peoples of the world, and also solve the problems of their refugees in accordance with UN Resolution 194 and the Arab Peace Initiative. Is that too much?”

Beneath the moderate guise that Abbas tries to project is a Palestinian leader who unreservedly supports terror and demands to implement what the Palestinians call the “right of return.” What the Palestinians mean by “right of return” according to Resolution 194 and the Arab Peace Initiative is simple enough and was ratified as an official law by the Palestinian parliament with Abbas’s approval.

According to the 2008 Law of the Right of Return of the Palestinian Refugees3:

The right of return of the Palestinian refugees to their homes and property, while receiving compensation for their suffering, is an inalienable and enshrined right that cannot be compromised, replaced, reconsidered, interpreted otherwise, or subjected to a referendum.

The right of return is natural, personal, collective, civil, political, passed on from father to son; it is not nullified by the passage of time or by the signing of any agreement and it cannot be abolished or waived in any way.

The Palestinian refugees shall not be resettled or displaced as an alternative to the right of return.

Anyone who violates the provisions of this Act shall be guilty of the crime of treason and will be subject to all criminal and civil penalties prescribed for this crime.

Anything that contradicts this law is considered null and void, and any legislation or agreement that will derogate from the right of return or contradict the provisions of this Act shall be deemed null and void.

In other words, even after an Israeli withdrawal to 1967 borders and the establishment of a fully sovereign Palestinian state, the conflict will remain unchanged and Palestine will demand the “return” to Israel of the millions of refugees and their descendants. The Palestinian demand for “return” entails the transfer of millions of Jews from their homes and the end of the state of Israel.

Demanding international protection

In Abbas’s words–

“The continuation of the present situation is unacceptable…. We will not agree to temporary solutions or to small, divided statelets…. We will demand an international umbrella that will oversee the ending of this occupation in keeping with the legitimate international resolutions, and until that time I demand of the United Nations, of the secretary-general, of the president of the General Assembly, that a mechanism of international protection be provided to our Palestinian people consistent with international humanitarian law. We request your protection, we request protection, we need international protection, we cannot continue in this situation, since the attacks come from every direction, we request, we need international protection.”

Abbas did not express sorrow or regret over the mounting Palestinian terror against Jews. He did not protest the repressive rule and terror of Hamas in Palestinian Gaza, nor Hamas’ aim of violently overthrowing his regime in the West Bank. Nor did he mention that it is only Israel’s presence in the main parts of the West Bank that keeps his government in existence. Abbas’ rule is confined to the West Bank and is totally absent from Gaza. Under the current circumstances, a request for international protection is actually a request that the international community provide shelter and patronage to Palestinian terror organizations.

Preparing for a future confrontation with Israel

Abbas stated further —

“The Israeli government insists on working to destroy the two-state solution and establish two regimes: on the one hand, an apartheid regime that it currently implements against the Palestinians in the occupied state of Palestine, and on the other, a regime of its own that provides great largess to the Israeli settlers ….

“We announce that we can no longer uphold these agreements and that Israel must bear full responsibility as the occupying power, because the current situation cannot continue, and the Palestinian Central Council resolutions of last March are clear and binding….

“The state of Palestine within the borders of June 4, 1967, with its capital of east Jerusalem, is a state under occupation…. The current situation cannot continue, and we will begin peacefully and legally implementing the recognition of this state so that the Palestinian National Authority can provide a bridge for the Palestinian people from occupation to independence; or, alternatively, Israel will bear the responsibility for the occupation, the full responsibility.”

Abbas, who is under public threat by Hamas, which sees him and his cronies as illegitimate leaders who deserve to be tossed in the dustbin of history, is trying to make political gains by outflanking his opponents and problems on the domestic front and threatening a descent into political chaos – that is, an intifada-type confrontation.

 

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Notes

1 Abbas speech, http://www.wafa.ps/arabic/index.php?action=detail&id=205539 English: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/09/30/read-palestinian-leader-mahmoud-abbass-u-n-general-assembly-speech/

2 Israel Broadcasting Authority news, http://www.iba.org.il/bet/?entity=1121619&type=1

http://www.dft.gov.ps/index.php?option=com_dataentry&pid=8&Itemid=27&des_id=1063

About Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi

Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi is a senior researcher of the Middle East and radical Islam at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He is a co-founder of the Orient Research Group Ltd.