Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Abbas Is To Blame
Op-Ed: Yes, Mahmoud Abbas IS to Blame It's not just the incitement, the "unity government" with Hamas and other regular talking points - Mahmoud Abbas bears direct responsibility for the Har Nof massacre. Ari Soffer The writer is the Managing Editor of Arutz Sheva/Israel National News.... The Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades - the "armed wing" of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist group - has officially taken credit for this morning's brutal terrorist attack at a synagogue in Jerusalem. Four people were murdered and eight wounded, four seriously, when two Arab terrorists stormed the Kehillat Bnai Torah Yeshiva Synagogue in Har Nof armed with knifes, axes and a pistol, spraying bullets and slaughtering innocent worshipers as they prayed. The two terrorists were shot dead in an exchange of gunfire with Israeli police, and have been identified as cousins Uday and Ghassan Abu Jamal, Palestinian residents of Jerusalem's Jabel Mukhabar neighborhood who carry blue teudat zehut identity cards. According to reports in the Palestinian media, the terrorists are relatives of Jamal Abu Jamal, a terrorist released for the second time from an Israeli prison as part of a "goodwill gesture" to Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas last year. Jamal Abu Jamal was rearrested earlier this month after returning to terrorist activity. The attack was praised by the PFLP's Islamist counterparts Hamas and Islamic Jihad, who called on Palestinians to carry out similar such "operations." Following this morning's attack, Israeli leaders - including Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman and Economics Minister Naftali Bennett - have all insisted that Abbas bears responsibility for the atrocity, citing regular incitement emanating from him personally and the Palestinian Authority he leads in general. Netanyahu in particular lamented the international community's shameful habit of ignoring PA incitement - a complaint regularly made by Israeli diplomats. For perhaps the first time, following the attack US Secretary John Kerry alluded (weakly) to the PA's responsibility, urging "the Palestinian leadership at every single level to condemn this in the most powerful terms. This violence has no place anywhere particularly after the discussion that we had just the other day in Amman." On cue, Abbas's office issued a statement condemning the attack - in anything but "the most powerful terms." What we were treated to instead was a matter-of-fact statement of condemnation qualified with a healthy dose of Israel-bashing, attacking Israel's "interference at Al-Aqsa [the Temple Mount - ed.] and the incitement by Israeli ministers." Such a statement is nothing short of derisory. Such a lukewarm condemnation hardly counters the stream of incitement uttered by Abbas, including calls to prevent "unclean Jews" from visiting the Temple Mount using "all means necessary." It is also notable that the same Hamas which so glowingly praised the attack is still currently a part of Abbas's "unity government" (albeit a shaky one). Moreover, Abbas's own Fatah organization also celebrated the attack - as it has done after each previous terrorist murder - on its official Facebook page. The Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades [Fatah's military wing - ed.] released a long statement praising the "blessed" attack, and Fatah's Jerusalem chapter hailed it as a "natural response to daily Israeli violations." But beyond these regular talking points, as legitimate as they are, it must be emphasized that Abbas's responsibility runs far deeper still. He is, in fact, directly responsible for this attack, as it was carried out by a faction under his authority. The PFLP is a far-left organization which blends neo-Marxism with ultranationalism, and has been responsible for many other terrorist atrocities in the past. It is also the second-largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) - which is led by none other than Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas. And you can be sure that Abbas's Fatah and the PFLP will remain comrades even after this event. It remains to be seen whether Abbas will go so far as to send a letter of condolence to the families of the two murderers in this attack, as he did in the case of Mu'taz Hijazi, the Islamic Jihad terrorist who shot and seriously wounded Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick. That blatant act of support for a would-be murderer even provoked rare condemnation from Israel's chief negotiator Tzipi Livni, who noted: "You can't on the one hand go round saying you condemn violence and on the other hand send letters encouraging it." Quite so. And one might add to that: you can't parade yourself as a moderate man of peace, as a legitimate negotiating partner, when the major partner within your own organization (PLO) carries out such indiscriminate slaughter of Jewish worshipers, while your own faction joins your "unity government" partner Hamas in reveling in and celebrating the act of murder, while encouraging further atrocities. If only our own Israeli, and Jewish, Left could understand that, we might actually be able to get off of this Oslo train to hell.