Tuesday, May 17, 2011

When Abbas lies about basic history, how can you trust him to make peace? (updated)

We know that Palestinian leaders routinely fabricate their history, but that doesn't mean that they should get a pass when they write op-eds for the New York Times.

Here's Mahmoud Abbas' revisionism:

It is important to note that the last time the question of Palestinian statehood took center stage at the General Assembly, the question posed to the international community was whether our homeland should be partitioned into two states. In November 1947, the General Assembly made its recommendation and answered in the affirmative. Shortly thereafter, Zionist forces expelled Palestinian Arabs to ensure a decisive Jewish majority in the future state of Israel, and Arab armies intervened.
A complete and utter lie. Within mere hours after the partition vote, Arabs started murdering Jews:

That entire week the rampages continued.

Arab leaders fled throughout the month of December 1947. Generally the richest ones, those who could afford to wait out the coming war in relative comfort in Beirut and Cairo, left. This was perhaps the biggest factor in influencing the Arab masses to flee - and most of them did flee without being exposed to any fighting.

The partition plan would have left a decisive Jewish majority in the Jewish State envisioned in the plan. If Arabs hadn't attacked, there could have been two states declared in May 1948. Only a couple of months after the vote and after suffering withering attacks on their women and children by the Arabs, way before the declaration of the state, did the Jews finally go on the offensive - to survive.

Abbas' account is so outrageously false that it should have been rejected from being in the New York Times editorial just on that basis. An op-ed does not give the writer carte blanche to make up history. The facts are documented quite well. Abbas is a liar.

The Arab armies that invaded in May 1948 didn't "intervene" to protect Arabs of Palestine. They went in to massacre all the Jews of Palestine.

So it is not surprising that an established liar can write:
Minutes after the State of Israel was established on May 14, 1948, the United States granted it recognition. Our Palestinian state, however, remains a promise unfulfilled.
That "promise" was roundly rejected by not only the entire Arab world but by every Palestinian Arab leader themselves. Abbas is arrogantly trying to pretend that he deserves a state when his forebears, and he himself, have rejected just such a state numerous times.

This dishonesty doesn't merely reflect Arab honor, lying in order to save face. It reflects Abbas' very personality. It proves, more than anything else, that it is impossible to make peace with him - the supposed "moderate."

After all, if you cannot believe a word he says in front of an audience of millions who read the New York Times, how can you trust him to adhere to any agreement?

(h/t Omri)

Update: See also Daled Amos' masterful fisking of this piece - using Abbas' own words!

Also Jeffrey Goldberg on the same theme.