What happened in 1988?
On November 15, 1988, Yasir Arafat declared Palestinian "independence" - in a meeting in Algeria.
The media at the time hailed it as a breakthrough, because the "Declaration of Independence" mentioned - but did not accept - UNSC resolution 242, which implies recognition of Israel.
The document, which was crafted by poet Mahmoud Darwish, uses the word "peace" 8 times and its accompanying communique an additional 11 times. For example:
The State of Palestine, in declaring that it is a peace-loving State committed to the principles of peaceful coexistence, shall strive, together with all other States and peoples, for the achievement of a lasting peace based on justice and respect for rights...In the past 28 years we have seen the same PLO celebrate numerous terror attacks and turn terrorists into heroes.
In the context of its struggle to bring peace to a land of peace and love, the State of Palestine calls upon the United Nations, which bears a special responsibility towards the Palestinian Arab people and its homeland, and upon the peace-loving States and peoples of the world and those that cherish freedom to assist it in achieving its goals, in bringing the plight of its people to an end, in ensuring the safety and security of that people and in endeavouring to end the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory.
The State of Palestine further declares, in that connection, that it believes in the solution of international and regional problems by peaceful means in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the resolutions adopted by it, and that, without prejudice to its natural right to defend itself, it rejects the threat or use of force, violence and intimidation against its territorial integrity and political independence or those of any other State.
This is because the accompanying communique justifies terror at the same time that it claims that it is against it:
The Palestine National Council renews its commitment to United Nations resolutions affirming the right of peoples to resist foreign occupation, colonialism and racial discrimination, and their right to struggle for their independence. It once again states its rejection of terrorism in all its forms, including State terrorism...You cannot read this document without a glossary - because it defines murdering Jews as a human right and it defines Israel's defense against terrorism as terrorism itself.
This indeed has been the playbook for 28 years - to insist that the Palestinians are a peace-loving people while at the same time supporting all forms of terror against Israelis as a form of "justice" and a "human right."
The document might as well have been written in 1984. Language itself has become a weapon.
But the playbook has been remarkably successful, and Mahmoud Abbas has continued in its path by speaking of "peace" and "justice" while literally embracing unrepentant murderers.
Abbas is right - nothing has changed in 28 years. November 15, 1988 was the birth of a new strategy to pretend that the Palestinian leadership had turned from terror-supporters into peace-loving doves. One only has to glance at their own media, their schoolbooks, their jubilant celebrations at terror attacks to learn that nothing has changed, but the wishful-thinking West chooses to ignore the constant support of terror as the anomaly and the lies about "peace" as the truth.