The Zionist Organization of America condemns Palestinian Authority (PA) dictator Mahmoud Abbas’s obscene speech personally attacking President Donald Trump, the president’s beautiful family, Ambassador Nikki Haley, and Ambassador David Friedman, as well as the United States and Israel.
Abbas’ rambling, unhinged, venomous two-hour speech to the Palestinian Central Council on Sunday evening (January 14) was full of lies, curses and threats. Abbas’ diatribe clearly demonstrated what the ZOA has been pointing out for years – that Mahmoud Abbas, who is in his 13th year of his four-year presidential term – is a hateful bloodthirsty fanatic opponent of Israel’s very existence, the Jewish people, and the West. Only someone full of irrational hatred and genocidal ambitions would spew curses at America, Israel, the U.S. President, the president’s family, and members of his administration the way Abbas just did.
Abbas’ recent rant is also a stark reminder that Abbas has continuously promoted Israel’s destruction and the murder of Jews for over half a century. Abbas co-founded the Fatah terrorist party with Yasser Arafat. Abbas’ PhD thesis denied the Holocaust. In 1972, Abbas financed and masterminded the brutal massacre of the Israeli Olympics team in Munich. Abbas still pays terrorists to murder Jews today. Abbas has repeatedly rebroadcasted (including 41 times during the four-week period between December 6 2017 and January 2, 2018) his incendiary 2015 call for Palestinian Arabs to spill blood, which incited the still-ongoing wave of Palestinian Arab knife and car ramming terrorist attacks against innocent Jewish civilians, in which close to 1,000 Jews have been murdered or maimed. Abbas has repeatedly honored terrorist Dalal Mughrabi, who murdered 37 Jews, including 13 children, and wounded 70 more in the Tel Aviv Coastal Road Massacre, by, among other things, airing television specials in her honor and by naming schools and clubs after her. He honors numerous other vicious Palestinian Arab terrorists who have Jewish and American blood on their hands, and has named dozens of schools, streets, sports tournaments and children’s camps after these Jew-killers. He uses textbooks, math problems, television, sermons and social media knifing instructions to indoctrinate Palestinian Arab children that their highest calling is to become “martyrs” by knifing Jewish children sleeping in their beds. He placed maps that obliterates Israel’s existence on the “Palestine” official emblem, stationary, documents and maps. He proclaimed that all of Israel, since Israel’s reestablishment in 1948, is an “occupation” that must end. Abbas has always refused to accept Israel as the nation State of the Jewish people. (Additional source.) And Abbas has always proclaimed no Jew will be allowed in a future Palestinian State. He has banned Jewish journalists from meetings, and demanded bans on Jews from American negotiating teams. And on and on and on…
Abbas’s speech reveals that it is long past time to stop pretending that Abbas is a peace partner, as past administrations did – and as too many Jewish groups have foolishly done for decades – despite all evidence to the contrary.
So, what really prompted Abbas’s latest stream of falsehoods and invective?
Abbas appears to have become unglued because America finally has a president who displayed the courage and self-respect to squarely face and appropriately respond to Abbas’s lies and threats and instigation of terror.
President Trump initially courteously met with Abbas and gave Abbas repeated opportunities to come clean and end the PA’s “pay to slay” payments. Yet Abbas lied to President Trump and refused to take even this most basic step towards peaceful co-existence. At that point, President Trump said, in essence, “enough is enough.” President Trump began taking eminently reasonable steps towards limiting U.S. funding to the PA – to curb the PA’s ability to pay terrorists to murder Jews and Americans.
Abbas has also become frantic because President Trump has been unafraid to take steps towards real peace – and real peace is the last thing that Abbas wants. President Trump’s courageous, widely praised recognition of Israel’s capital Jerusalem was just, and in conformity with the 22-year old 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Law, and was eminently sensible. Peace can only move forward if we narrow the issues, and take issues off the table. Peace cannot be advanced if Abbas continues to maintain his fantasy of carving up Israel’s capital. And there can be no real peace if U.S. policy is held hostage to threats.
Abbas is also attempting to use President Trump’s eminently reasonable actions as a pretext for continuing his decades of rejection of peace and instigation of murder.
During his tirade last Sunday, Abbas uttered the following abominations, epithets and historical inventions, among others:
- Abbas barefacedly lied about his refusals to negotiate with Israel, while cursing President Trump and the president’s family. Abbas stated: “He [Trump] said in a tweet: ‘We won’t give money to the Palestinians because they rejected the negotiations –– May your house be destroyed . . . Shame on you. When did we reject the talks? Where is the negotiation that we rejected?”
In fact, Abbas and the PA have refused to negotiate with Israel throughout the past nine years, with the exception of two meetings in a single week.
The Arabic curse “may your house be destroyed’ means “may your family be destroyed.” It is an absolutely vile epithet to direct at anyone, much less at a President of the United States who simply tells the truth about Abbas’ avoidance of peace negotiations.
- Abbas reiterated that he “completely rejects” President Trump’s call for him to cease paying salaries to blood-soaked, jailed Palestinian Arab terrorists and stipends to the families of dead Palestinian Arabs terrorists.
- Abbas attacked and labeled as a “disgrace” U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman. Abbas complained about Ambassador Haley’s comment that she defends Israel at the UN in “high heels,” and Ambassador Friedman’s (true) statements that there is no Israeli “occupation.” Abbas also said, “These two personalities are an insult for a self-respecting administration.”
In fact, the real disgrace is Abbas’s insults of devoted American officials.
- Abbas absurdly lied that Israel is a centuries-old European colonial project that has no connection to Jews. Abbas asserted that Europeans “wanted to bring the Jews here [to the Land of Israel] from Europe in order to protect European interests in the region. They asked The Netherlands, which then had the largest navy in the world, to relocate the Jews” and then quoted an antisemitic Egyptian writer who claimed that Israel “a colonial project that has nothing to do with Judaism.”
In fact, Zion (Israel) and Jerusalem have been central to the Jewish religion for thousands of years. Jewish scripture mentions Jerusalem nearly 700 times. Return to an Israeli sovereign state has been the aspiration of Judaism since the book of Psalms.
- Abbas absurdly claimed that Oliver Cromwell, the Lord Protector of Britain during the 1650s, planned to move Jews to the Middle East in 1653. Abbas claimed that this was “because they [Britain] wanted this region to be a frontier to protect convoys and interests coming from Europe to the East.”
In fact, in the 1650s, Cromwell readmitted the Jews to England, from which the Jews had been expelled by King Edward I in 1290.
- Abbas uttered the groundless claim that Theodor Herzl, the founder of Political Zionism, sought the genocide of the local Arab population, using the slogan: “A land without a people for a people without a land.”
In fact, Herzl made no calls for genocide, and envisioned peacefully co-existing with the small numbers of Arabs living on Israel’s barren soil at the time. Moreover, the slogan was originally coined by British Christians, not Jewish Zionists, in the nineteenth century. Furthermore, population censuses demonstrate that Jews were already the majority religious group in Jerusalem in the 1800s. (Christians were the second most populous, and Muslims were a distant third.)
- Abbas obscenely claimed that European Jews during the Holocaust chose to undergo “murder and slaughter” over emigration to British-held Palestine. Abbas said: “The Jews did not want to emigrate even with murder and slaughter. Even during the Holocaust, they did not emigrate. By 1948, Jews in Palestine were no more than 640,000, most of them from Europe.”
In fact, Jews desperately tried everything possible to leave Europe and come to Israel. However, Britain (which had been granted the Mandate over the area that is now Israel and Jordan as a “sacred trust” to enable “close Jewish settlement” and the reestablishment of the Jewish homeland) illegally prevented most Jewish immigration to Palestine during 1939-45, and even in the years after World War II, from 1945-1948. Britain blockaded and sank boats with Jews headed to Israel, and detained surviving Jews in Cyprus. This Abbas statement also ignores that close to one million Jews fled to Israel from Arab lands, in the wake of Arab pogroms and expulsions in the late 1940s to early 1950s.
- Abbas absurdly alleged that the State of Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, brought Jews to Israel from Arab countries against his and their will. Abbas alleged: “Ben-Gurion did not want Middle Eastern Jews to come [to Israel . . . but when he saw the vast land, he was forced to bring Middle Eastern Jews . . . that didn’t want to come. From Yemen they flew 50,000 Jews . . . They didn’t suffice with 50,000 Jews. Then they went to Iraq, which had large reserves of Jews.” Abbas also outrageously, falsely asserted that Israel made deals with Iraqi leaders “to take away the citizenship of Jews and force them to emigrate. They did not suffice with this and gathered all the Jews in Arab countries, from Morocco to Algeria and Tunis, Libya, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon.”
In fact, Arab mob violence and murderous pogroms against Jews, expulsions, repression, and seizures of Jewish property across the Middle East, especially in the 1940s to early 1950s, caused most Jews who had been living in Arab nations for millennia to flee to Israel. Between 1920 and 1970, 900,000 Jews were expelled from Arab and other Muslim lands. Israel welcomed the Jews from Arab lands, and assisted their flight to prevent fellow Jews in Arab lands from being slaughtered.
- Abbas threatened to “slap” America, and rejected U.S. peacemaking efforts. Abbas threatened “We won’t take orders from anyone. We told Trump we will never accept his [peace] plan. His deal of the century is the slap in the face of the century, and we will not accept it. But we will slap back . . . We will not accept America as a sole mediator between us and Israel, after what they have done.” Abbas added, “We will not accept for the U.S. to be a mediator, because after what they have done to us — a believer shall not be stung twice in the same place,” and stated he would accept only “serious international sponsorship” for peace talks. Abbas has also insultingly refused to meet Vice-President Pence when he visits the region and has refused to meet with the Trump administration’s senior negotiator, Jason Greenblatt.
In fact, Abbas’s avoidance of peace is nothing new. Abbas and the PA refused to accept peace proposals of any U.S. administration, no matter how favorable the proposals were to the Palestinian Arabs.
In 2000-2001, the PA rejected President Clinton’s parameters, accepted by then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, although the parameters went far beyond what most Israelis deemed just or wise. In 2008, Abbas and the PA rejected then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s peace proposals that went even further, even offering a Palestinian state throughout virtually all of Judea/Samara and all of Gaza, with the small segments of territory to be retained by Israel to be compensated by the transfer to the PA equal tracts of sovereign Israeli territory.
- Abbas falsely claimed that Jerusalem is as important to Muslims as Mecca is. Abbas stated, “Trump took Jerusalem off the table with a tweet.” Abbas then falsely claimed: “The status of Jerusalem is like Mecca. Nothing is more important than Jerusalem.”
In fact, Muslims pray towards Mecca five times a day – not towards Jerusalem. The Koran never mentions Jerusalem. Throughout most of Islamic history, Islam has little interest in Jerusalem. During Jordan’s illegal occupation of the eastern half of Jerusalem and its sanctuaries (1948-67), Jerusalem fell into disrepair, often lacking decent sewerage and running water, Amman remained Jordan’s capital, the Christian population declined from 25,000 to 11,000, Jordan destroyed Jerusalem synagogues, and no Arab leaders other than Jordanian officials even visited the Muslim shrines in the city.
- Abbas falsely claimed that Israel destroyed the Oslo peace process.
In fact, Israel carried out all of its Oslo obligations, including transferring territory, assets and even arms to the PA. By contrast, the PA has never honored its signed Oslo commitments to arrest terrorists, confiscate illegal weaponry, cooperate with Israel economically, disband terrorist groups and end incitement to hatred and murder against Jews in the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps. Instead, the PA has done precisely the opposite of its commitments. It foments terror and economic warfare against Israel, and uses U.S. aid money to pay Palestinian Arab terrorists to murder and maim thousands of Jews, Americans, and bystanders.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said:
Mahmoud Abbas’ obscene speech attacking the US and Israel; cursing President Trump and publicly abusing his ambassadors; denouncing Israel and Zionism as a European colonial project to relocate European Jewry; lying by denying his rejection of negotiations with Israel for years; threatening to “slap” America after having supposedly received the “slap of the century” from President Trump; lying about the history of Zionism and the actions of Israeli leaders, past and present; refusing to discontinue the barbarous practice of paying salaries to jailed Jew-killing terrorists and stipends to the families of dead terrorists –– all this should be a wake-up call to those who have ignored reality of exactly who Mahmoud Abbas is for far too long.
Abbas has shown that, as ZOA has pointed out repeatedly, he is a mendacious enemy of Israel who curses, insults and lies when his deceitful, pro-terror, anti-peace policies are exposed.
Abbas is now using President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital –– a recognition both right and overdue (and that in no way prejudices the outcome of peace talks, if Abbas ever deigns to come to the negotiating table) ––as a pretext for the PA’s continuing, longstanding rejection of peace, peace negotiations, and any peace proposal that requires a Palestinian state or entity to accept Israel as a legitimate and permanent sovereign state and neighbor.
There is no side-stepping this tragic reality.
The ZOA has set forth reams of evidence countless times that Abbas and the PA are continuously promoting terror, and are not genuine peace partners.
But, to paraphrase the famous line from A Few Good Men, much of the world – including too many other Jewish organizations, couldn’t handle the truth.
The world remained silent and even supported Abbas during all of his Nazi-like behavior. Most Jewish leaders ignored reality, and instead supported Abbas during all of his heinous actions. These same leaders criticized Prime Minister Netanyahu and Israel more than they ever criticized Abbas and Arafat for masterminding and promoting murdering Jews!
Jewish organizations supported funding Abbas, supported a State under Abbas, and ran to meet with Abbas. And they were all too happy to condemn Jews living in Judea and Samaria as the problem. Some, like the leaders of the Reform movement, even condemned President Trump for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital at this time. The American Jewish Committee condemned the existence of Jewish communities (“settlement building beyond the security barrier”) as a “major impediment” to a peace solution and has continued to proudly supported a Palestinian Arab State for 25 years – as did way too many other Jewish organizations.
And sadly, AIPAC has always refused to support the right of Jews to live anywhere in Judea and Samaria; AIPAC’s official “Understanding the Issues” statement on “settlements” states that “settlements constitute a key point of contention,” and fails to defend the right of Jews to live in these communities. AIPAC refused to support the stronger version of the Taylor Force Act (to stop payments to the PA as long as the PA continues paying terrorists to murder Jews). AIPAC refused to support a strong 2014 bill to cut off U.S. funds to the PA in the wake of the PA’s decision to enter into a unity agreement with Hamas. Instead, AIPAC continues to “strongly support” a Palestinian Arab State.
And certain Israeli leaders maintained the false nonsense that peace was possible with antisemitic Jew-hating Jew killers such as Abbas.
It’s long past time to face the truth.
Morton Klein is the president of Zionist Organization of America (ZOA). A leading national Jewish weekly named him one of the top five American Jewish leaders. Follow him on @MortonAKlein7 and ZOA.Org.